Index Research will focus on a country or an issue which is of particular interest to me. Articles have appeared on and others.

Monday, September 26, 2005

New Orleans : Naled kills mosquitoes - and people?

This article updated 01/11/2006

In America, on 12 September, KTLA reported that in New Orleans “federal public safety officials said that a military C-130 cargo plane was to begin spraying clouds of insecticide… to kill a growing population of disease-bearing mosquitoes.” The authorities noted that this spraying “would not pose a health threat.” Really?

Kurt Nimmo, in his article, Jackbooted Police State Emerging in New Orleans, writes about an interview which Jeremy Scahill gave to Amy Goodman (Democracy Now! | The Militarization of New Orleans) which mentions the mosquito spray, Naled. Mr. Nimmo, giving various sources, notes that such “chemicals are carcinogens and induce ‘structural chromosome aberrations’.” He adds: “the military seems to be using NALED (and who knows what other chemicals) with the same cavalier disregard they used Agent Orange (a herbicide) in Vietnam.” Quite.

I shall investigate further this poison being used on the mosquitoes and people of New Orleans.

What is Naled?
Naled is an organophosphate. Its trade names are: Bromex, Dibrom, Dibromfos, Fly Killer-D, Lucanal and RE4355. Broken down, it produces Dichlorvus (DDVP). Its inert substances are: naphthalene and 1-2-4 trimethylbenzine, Information on this, and other pesticides available here.
Its chemical name is dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphoric acid ester.

Who sells Naled?
Valent sold its US Naled/Dibrom business to American Vanguard Corporation (AMVAC) with effect from November 1998.

AMVAC, located in Los Angeles, specialises in pesticides and herbicides. AMVAC is also involved with “toxic waste management” though a sub-company, Environmental Mediation, Inc. (a convenient arrangement).

Naled is a PAN Bad Actor (Pesticide Action Network) with ‘high toxicity’ in two areas.
Further information about Naled can be found here

What is the story of Naled?
Naled has been used mostly on cotton and grapes. “Aerial applications can last for several days and can drift up to half a mile.” (What about in a strong breeze?) Breathing contaminated air is Naled’s most toxic form. Mosquito spraying uses small droplets, which are about 4x more acutely dangerous than the larger droplets.
(Publications, factsheets, articles NCAP North...

What is Naled's threat to New Orleans and its people?
The potential health and environmental effects outlined below strongly support the importance of finding alternatives to these pesticides as soon as possible.

The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides gives the following list of Naled dangers. They note that females are more sensitive than males, and that malnourished people and asthmatics are especially susceptible.

Physical: Headaches, eye and skin irritation, nausea and diarrhoea; muscle twitching and reduced strength, anaemia, difficult breathing. Cancer, also caused by Dichlorvus (stomach, pancreas; leukaemia).

Mental: increased aggression, seizures, slow responses, a deterioration of memory and learning, unconsciousness.

Prenatal dangers: the organophosphate breakdown of Naled, Dichlorvus, “interferes with prenatal brain development. The brain in tested pregnant animals was affected after 3 days of exposure, showing 15% of reduced brain size.”

Children: Naled and Dichlorvus can be passed on to children through breast feeding. Children exposed to Naled have an increased cancer risk.

Food Contamination: particularly strawberries, beans, celery and peppers.

Genetic: damage to the liver; chromosome abnormalities can be found in sperm and the spleen.

Environmental: No proper testing of water contamination in wells, streams or rivers has been done. The Environmental Protection Agency (sic) says that Naled “is toxic to birds and fish.” Reduced growth has been noted, as has the reduction of egg production and hatching.

But a recent report reveals devastating harm done to fish, shrimp and turtles (tumours). Further, sprays do not harm just ‘bad’ insects, they also harm ‘good’ ones. Stoneflies, which cycle nutrients in water and waterstriders, which scavenge, are affected. Naled affects bees, and the wasps that paralyse fruit flies. Endangered species are threatened.

What does the Environmental Protection Agency say?
Naled is listed by the EPA as a “moderate” poison and “must bear the Signal Word DANGER – POISON because it is corrosive to the eyes.”

A full document, by Robert Rose, Pesticides and Human Health
discusses the EPA “integrated methods of mosquito management”.

Risk to Humans
In another document, the EPA says: “Naled can be used for public health mosquito control programs without posing unreasonable risks to the general population when applied according to the label. …” It continues: “However, at high doses, Naled, like other organophosphates, can over-stimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, or confusion. Severe high-dose poisoning with any organophosphate can cause convulsions, respiratory paralysis, and death.”
The Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, North Carolina state: "Different views on the carcinogenicity data have been published; most indicate that the earlier studies were inadequate…, flawed … or showed unequivocal carcinogenicity… According to the EPA (using all the available data)"dichlorvos has been classified as a carcinogen based on oncogenic effects in mice and rats...... Increased incidences of mononuclear cell leukemia was observed in dosed male and female rats. In the male rats the increase in incidence was dose-related and statistically significant. Incidences of multiple fibroademonmas were seen in 9 exposed female rats whereas none were observed in the controls.”

Risk to Environment
The EPA says, “Naled, used in mosquito control programs, does not pose unreasonable risks to wildlife or the environment...” and later then adds “Naled is highly toxic to insects, including beneficial insects such as honeybees.” Further EPA documents on Naled can be found at:

What is Naled's future?
There is “strong evidence of how mosquito control pesticides (once applied to a "pristine" wildlife habitat) can then result in a dramatic increase in the incidence rate of encephalitis carrying mosquitoes in the area.“

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has written that the
killing of adult mosquitoes by aerial spray is the least efficient control technique. Naled is not an exception.

“The potential for irreversible damage to public health, wildlife and marine life must be considered” in light of recent research.

“The fact that Agrow, one of the main agrochemical industry analysts, is questioning international regulatory status of OP insecticides, signals that this sector of the market is indeed in trouble.”
Book Reviews: Pesticdes News 42

A recent Guardian headline reads: “Fears about exposure to crop spraying gain ground.” These very same doubts about chemical crop spraying should also apply to aerial Naled spraying for mosquitoes in New Orleans.

The producer of the dangerous Naled/Dibrom aerial spray primarily makes money killing mosquitoes. People become ill. The company makes yet more money again selling them drugs. Why does no one question the preposterous amorality of Pharmaceutical Corporations? What safe alternative can we find to Naled, and to all the other chemicals that are poisoning us, and our environment? Or is it too late?

Whilst hoping for the best with the new head of the EPA, Stephen Johnson, one suspects that a man with dedicated integrity to the greening of the EPA will succumb to the destructive and corporate will of the Bush administration.


17.08.06. Independent. Estelle Foster of the Pesticide Awareness
and Alternatives Coalition said that the chemical is too hazardous for use in residential areas and less drastic measures should have been taken. Pesticide Protest.

If you think you were affected by spraying between 9-24-05 and before 10-1-05, this person would like to hear from you. He has been to a neurologist about his complaints. He wrote (printed with permission): "while in the street a c-130 sprayed the area with some sort of insecticide[naled i assume] this occured behind the ritz-carlton on iberville in new orleans. i felt the spray all over me but could not avoid it due to the suddeness of the plane flying over the rooftops without any prior warning. headaches,vision and memory problems have steadily plagued me anybody looking into this that you might be aware of? You can contact him:

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